A while back I was invited to a Tesco store to have a peek behind the scenes of their bread making! I had a fabulous evening and came away with a whole host of new knowledge about bread as well as some new favourite products from the Tesco bakery.
One of the things I found I liked very much is the Tesco Finest White Farmhouse Bread. It just tastes really fresh and is so soft and delicious. It also makes gorgeous toast which is soft and fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside, just as it should be in my opinion!
The Tesco Finest White Farmhouse Bread!
Having found the Finest Bread to be so good I jumped at the chance to review some of the other products in the range, of which there are 1,500! 400 of those are brand new and what they all have in common is that each and every product is grown, created and made by people with a passion and lifelong love for their food. There is a story behind every item in the range and experts share generations of knowledge and techniques to ensure that every mouthful is to be loved! To love every mouthful is is the tag Tesco employ and with the Finest range they are putting their money where their mouth is because by sending bloggers products to review they are really putting it to the test! Well they are with me anyway!
I was sent a voucher to buy the products I fancied and I fancied quite a few! The fillet of beef wellington looked amazing and I also liked the sound of many of the chicken dishes. In the end we decided to buy their meal deal for £10 which is a main course, side and desert with a bottle of wine – excellent value! There were no deserts in the offer left in our Tesco (I have to say the store near where I live is pretty rubbish and is often lacking in products or staff to help you whereas the store near my Mum is really very good) so we had no option but to go with the cheese selection. We decided to be piggy and buy a desert as extra!
So… The dishes we chose were:
Tesco Finest Traditional Lasagne
Tesco Finest Green Vegetables and Chestnuts
Tesco Finest Morello Cherry Frangipane Tart
British Farmhouse Cheese Selection
This came with a bottle of wine which was very nice and with the frangipane tart as extra the bill came to £13.90.
I love the fact that these meals just go straight in the oven as they are. It eliminates the washing up as well as the food preparation which is a mega plus and especially good for a treat night off but the proof is in the pudding as they say! So, how was everything?
Tesco Finest Traditional Lasagne, £5.00 (this was part of the £10 deal at the time).
The lasagne was quite tasty. I am not keen on meat lasagne in general as I’m not wild about mince and the texture of it. When I make a lasagne I make it vegetarian so I thought I would really challenge them and see if something I would never ordinarily choose could cut it with me! Jonny on the other hand is a fan of meat lasagne so he was going to be very critical from another angle and has never found a ready meal lasagne that he likes. We both agreed that we liked this one although it didn’t wow us. I enjoyed the fact that the mice was very, very ground and the taste was pleasant. There was lots of gooey bechemel sauce which I like and the topping was cheesy and crisp. There was nothing wrong with it and portion wise for two it was superb but it just wasn’t amazing. For me as a non mice and meat lasagne fan I think that’s quite high praise but for Jonny he wasn’t terribly impressed. The side dish to accompany the lasagne was utterly delicious though… read on!
Tesco Finest Green Vegetables and Chestnuts, £2.60 (this was part of the £10 deal at the time).
The vegetables were just lovely! Nutty, salty and really made us squish up our mouths as we tasted every morsel! I just adore the edamame beans which changed the brocoli and green beans from ordinary into extraordinary. It had a sort of buttery tablet with the chestnuts in and this melted into the vegetables as they cooked! I could have had a whole bowl of these they were so yummy! But we had to leave room for desert of course!
Tesco Finest Morello Cherry Frangipane Tart, £3.90.
The tart was just lovely. Creamy and sweet with just the right amount of sharpness from the cherries and because it was easily big enough for four people we had loads left over. We served it warm with cream and the flaky buttery pastry just melted into it which was delicious. The almond wasn’t over powering but was definitely there and the next day when the children had a slice they thought this grown up desert was pretty good too! For the price it’s amazing and I would happily serve it up at a dinner party! I would say the tart could be sliced into eight even and if served with a ball of ice cream it would happily be enough! But obviously we were on a trying roll so we had to move onto the cheese!
British Farmhouse Cheese Selection, £3.00 (this was part of the £10 deal at the time).
Red Leicester, Farmhouse Creamy Blue and Finest Extra Mature Cheddar make up this selection big enough for two. It doesn’t come with any crackers or chutney which is a shame so we bought some to go with it. We bought Tesco Salt and Black Pepper Crackers which are absolutely perfect but not in the Finest range (as I mentioned, our local Tesco is a bit hit and miss and they didn’t have any in stock, not to matter). We served the cheese with the crackers and some caramelised onion chutney we had in the fridge. I am not a red Leicester fan but that’s my personal taste. To me it tastes of nothing and has a rubbery consistency. In a way I think they have to cater to every palte but in another I kind of think people don’t buy the cheese board unless they are big on cheese and if they’re big on cheese then Red Leicester isn’t really going to cut the mustard! If I were them I would replace it with a more distinct cheese, perhaps a goat’s cheese? The mature cheddar and creamy blue were lovely though, especially the blue. They look on the packet like they are very small pieces but actually there’s quite a bit of each and I enjoyed the cheese board very much. I would change it either by swapping that one cheese for something else of eliminating it entirely and providing a small chutney sachet and some crackers. Maybe even a pot of grapes.
All in all we enjoyed the Finest dishes we tried and they are streets ahead of your average ready meal. Nothing to prepare, nothing to wash up and very good food! The wine was rather drinkable too! I would still like to try the beef wellington and also think another time I will try some of the cuts of meat and cook them myself! If our Tesco were better stocked I would have cooked a meal myself and used smoked salmon for a starter, I’d be very interested to see if it’s better than the regular packaged variety and maybe cook a roast chicken for a main meal. Thanks for letting us try Tesco, we are impressed.
I have not been paid to write this post but I was sent some Tesco vouchers for the purpose of an honest review of the Finest range.